tv [untitled] December 20, 2011 1:01pm-1:31pm PST
this morning for what we expect will be a very lively and productive couple of days here in san francisco. the san francisco m.t.a. is the agency that's charged with implementing the city's transit first policy, which is about getting people out of their cars and into more sustainable modes of transportation, such as bikes, such as walking and transit in our great muni system. as someone who myself gets around the city often by bike, and i do that by choice, but more importantly, i'm given the charge of our agency to get folks out oaf their cars. i can't tell you how exciting it is for me to think all of the brain power and enthusiasm for cycling that's in this room are going to spend the next two days working with us to help us figure out how we can do every -- even better. although we've done a lot in terms of bicycling and
increasing the mode of bicycling as a transportation of choice and we're very proud of what we've accomplished, there's a lot more that we can do and a lot more that we need to do. it's not just because riding around on a bicycle is for fun, which i think it is, or at least it is for some people. let's hear it for the mayor. it makes people more healthy, it's good for the environment. but one of the real kind of more compelling reasons for me is something that struck me. i had an opportunity a year ago with many of the folks who are in this room to travel to the netherlands and spend a week. we went to four different cities and it was an opportunity to study the transportation infrastructure in the netherlands and to basically try to learn how have they done it? how have they gotten so many people onto their bicycles?
one day we were riding around amsterdam, it was towards the end of the week and we were being toured around by a gentleman from amsterdam and we were driving around on our bikes and it's this beautiful, beautiful stifle. beautiful brick buildings, the canals, bicycles everywhere and he said as we were riding a simple kind of thing. he said imagine all these bicycles that you see. imagine if they were all cars. it was a very kind of simple but profound statement. the entire character of amsterdam would be completely different. it would really be ruined in my estimation. it would be clogged with traffic and noise. the air would be polluted. everybody would probably be fatter and it just -- it wouldn't be -- it's part of what has enabled amsterdam to be greet is the way they've
done their transportation. and when you think about san francisco, a tiny little city, seven by seven. we're going to get another 100,000 people in the next 30 years, it's not going to work if they all bring their cars. what my charge is figuring out how to make it safe, attractive, and inviting for people to get around on a bicycle and make sure they're bicycling safely and that people who are around them, such as pedestrians and others are safe with more people on bikes. this is the focus of the workshop. it's going to be on three critical areas for our city. polk street, dewiggle and central market. our expectations are very high. we're very grateful to the nether land consulate and the folks who have come here, some of who you'll hear from this morning for bringing their time and expertise and lover and
passion for cycling to us here in san francisco. we do have a great advocate for cycling here, although sometimes he says he needs a little bit of an electric motor to get up that hill by his house. he is 100% supportive of increasing the bicycle use in this city. been focused on the development of places like central market, which is one of the focus areas of this workshop. without further ado, i'm happy to welcome up to the mike our mayor, mayor ed lee. [applause] >> thank you, ed. morning, everyone! welcome here to city hall in san francisco. delighted to join this wonderful opportunity here and council general, thank you very much for bringing a wonderful team from netherlands to help
engage us even better and to excite not only us who work here at city hall but our traffic engineers, our bicycle coalition, our educators and all of the bay area guests. we have guests from even san rafael council here as well to share in this experience. as ed mentioned, i am a very big enthusiast but i want to be more than just a cheerleader for this. leah knows this as well. i know that there will be times where we have to challenge ourselveses to go a little further because there are great secrets that we don't know today that will be unleashed. and one of them is going to be our own economy. that there are some great secrets to unleash when we have alternatives to how we use our
roads and how we can open them up to even more diverse use, safe uses of our roads. and certainly our bicycle enthusiasts have a great contribution to that as i saw on grand beach and chinatown. when you close from tower to bush street and allow the people to get out there, you can see some fantastic results and we're going to patiently wait for the statistics to show us how much that impact was. but i want to simply welcome you here today and to put something in context they know will be exciting for us. you know that bicycle travel has increased over 60% since 2006. and that if we are to make sure that our goal of bicycle trips of being 20% of every trip that is in our city to be 20% by
2020, we're going to have to work a lot harder. we're going to have to educate more people. we're going to have to bring a lot more people under the tent, and we're going to have to understand how leadership and education and enforcement work together with a cultural change that we have to produce in our city. we are, not only in name, a transit-first city. we also want to make sure that, if we are to accomplish that goal that we set out some years ago with my predecessor gavin newsom, a board that we all agreed to, every agency in this city, that we are going to reduce our emissions in our city by 2020 below the levels and be a leader in the rest of the world and keep our status as the greenest city in north america wears -- we're going to have to work that much harder and be very focused and dedicated and i want so much to
do that for this city, because we want to be and continue to be the leadership of bicycles and alternative travel on our streets. i want to thank our dutch friends for being here, for having invited ed and board president david chiu and so many other leaders to host their way at the look other cities in the netherlands have been increasing bicycle opportunities for everyone to participate. the last time i was in amsterdam was in 1969, council general, and it was in high school where our high school choir was blessed with having an international trip. so i sang on the corners of amsterdam as part of our great high school opening -- awakening of our understanding of europe and how it was related to the united states and i wish i was able to be invited then 42 years ago to
ride a bike because in high school that's all i had was a bicycle to junior high and high school. that's the way we got around. and then to marvel at how, as adults, we could reengage ourselves with things that got us around the city for our high school jobs to, school and back home and to reengage not only youth here but seniors and residents of all walks of life to be able to bike to work in clothing like this not just some bike to work day. every single day would be a marvelous thing to see and experience and again, to unleash that secret that our neighborhoods could be that much stronger if we had the bicycle balance that we should have. this year we're also challenged, and i want to speak to all of you who who are going to be reviewing the sensitive areas around market street and
polk street and the wiggle, which i got to experience earlier this year that. wig is very challenging. it was evolved organizically by those who wanted to deal with the elevation challenges of that street. but as we rode that street, the thing that i remember the most is how close it was to so much automobile traffic. and the need to really work on issues of safety as we go through market street, as we go through polk street, how intense these streets are over utilized and the challenges that we're going to have in looking at these transit areas is not only met with the enthusiasm we have for bicycling but the very indict push that we have to have in this city because it's going to be more than enthusiasm that's going to get us there. it will be leadership, enforcement, all the things that you know we have to do to
change culture. what i've been doing is talking with a lot of residents on the west side of this city who are challenged because they're so used to being in their cars and they feel that righteousness of having an expensive vehicle and having paid for it and all the insurance and all of that i used to have when i had my three cars. that we only needed one. maybe a half a car and i had three because i was in that culture myself, and to think back about what really led me to feel that way and trying to pierce that culture that we still have very much in the city, that it's my road and that those who want to introduce something different, it's their responsibility to be more safe than i because it's my road. that's what we have faced up with. and a lot of these corridors do have a direct connection to the
ramps that go to our freeway. so it's very hardcore values and culture that we're facing to really make that change. so i want to work with you. i am very excited to learn from these two day of intense thinking and exchange, how do we really get to the core of that culture and how i might, as the mayor working with the board of supervisors, who i know share the need to unleash even more of our goals in this city to share the roadway, how we can do this with the experience of our friends in the netherlands and with the great team they've assembled to work with us. how do we make that transition as smooth as possible and keep not only the balance, the forging of the goal of sharing our roads? that's going to be the great challenge. so i look forward to the recommendations you have in these two days. i want to be engaged as much as i can so i have many of my
staff here to work with you and i will look to the leadership that ed is bringing to our transit system to be with me to voice the direction that we want to have and i will be there for you as the mayor of this great city and working closely with our board so that we can educate, that we could make those challenges change, but most importantly, that we can provide the leadership that is needed to forge a new culture in our city, one that will unleash our own strenthening of our neighborhoods and our own economic strength as well as our own strength of people. i will begin say to you that the enthusiasm is very real. you see the people who use these roads when we close them off to traffic. not to say that cars aren't necessary still to get around, but that there is a movement that is so, i think, contributing to the value and
quality of life in this city and in the region and for our whole country that we can be the leadership up here. so again, thank you very much council general. thank you tort dutch team for engaging ourselveses the next two days. i look forward to these recommendations and if i may i'd like to introduce a very, very fine council general who is excited to be here, that will lead the way and begin the discussion. council general, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. mayor. it's indeed to -- exciting to be here as council general of san francisco in this beautiful city, especially on a day like today. it's really great. you've been in amsterdam. in 1969 i learned and have
reason for you to come back to that beautiful city soon. i'd love to work with you on a relationship between amsterdam and san francisco because there's so much in common between the two cities. and a lot of things that san francisco can learn from san francisco and the other way around. and my hope for these two days is that we will have something out of it as well and i'm sure we will have something out of it as well. and you probably will not remember amsterdam in the 1960's and the 1970's. i'm old enough to remember amsterdam in the 1970's and it was all different at that time. there was a lot of congestion, a lot of cars in town and it changed. it changed by changing the culture, changing policy and implementation of policies with hard work and i think hillie talens will show some figures
and numbers about the travel that we did in the nether land as well. and about the economic benefits that investing in bicycle infrastructure gives to us. if people from here -- they just did a great city -- study about additional investments in the nether land. 100 million bike paths and they discovered that within one year, the benefits would be higher than at 100 million. if you look to how -- if you look to mobility. if you look to product -- productivity and all those kinds of things. the good news from the netherlands is that you'll find the biggest supporters of good bike infrastructure among retailers. they know what good customers
bicyclists are. and -- when we started discussions about this think bike workshop. we did this in other cities in the u.s. and we will be in that other big california city, los angeles, in a few other days. thursday, and -- thursday and friday. and i was convinced quite easily about the use to have these kind of work shops in l.a. but i thought san francisco, there's so much going on already. we had leah and for almost nine months in amsterdam and chairman david chiu and others for a week. and there is such great organization here and there are so many ideas. there are so many professional little here already about bike infrastructure and the future
of biking. but it will come down to implementation and it's perhaps a bit like riding the wiggle. you have to push hard and hopefully we might be a sort of additional support, a sort of small electricity motor for you to push your -- up that hill. and it will come down to implementation and leadership and it's great to have a sort of down to earth approach during these two days. working in teams on i think three important places in town. market, mid market. there's a lot going on. last week we had people from one of the biggest and the greatest argument tech yurl firms in the world, the
colehouse firm here in san francisco. they talked with people from twitter and people in the city about mid market developments and good infrastructure for bikes and tradition is a part of it. i'm so hope that polk street is in it as well. it's my daily commute. i hope that in the next two years that i have the honor to be here as well to get some profit off this workshop as well. the third one with wiggle i think is a quite interesting one. we don't have a wiggle in the netherlands. we don't need a wiggle in the netherlands. but i -- i thought what an interesting word that is, wiggle. where does it come from? is it a san francisco-invented word? so i looked it up yesterday in the oxford dictionary. to my surprise i found the
origin of the word "wiggle" is in dutch. sorry about that. it's to wiggle. to move to left to right. that's something we do in the netherlands. in politics as well. and even i find out that the name beggler, somebody who wiggles, is a common name in the netherlands and in the dutch translation of harry potter, the lady who writes all the booklets for the school in the harry potter school is madam wiggli. i thought it might be good to contact her to get some additional support for this
workshop and then i find there's no need for it because we have tall resources here. you could look at the dutch team and all the professionals here in san francisco to work on the three projects in the next few days, and as you, mr. mayor, i'm looking forward to the results. it's an honor for me to introduce to you hillie talens, who is a great professional in the netherlands about biking, biking infrastructure, the safety of biking. a lot of experience. i would like to give you the floor. hillie! [applause]
>> ok, good morning. thank you for the introduction and -- i'll be leading this think bike workshop and for all of you to get an understanding of cycling in the nether land i've prepared a presentation for you all and then we work things out in detail in the three groups i'll introduce to you later. cycling in the nether land, that's what this is all about
and i'm not here to you -- we netherlands you need to do in the u.s. and in san francisco specific, but just pick out the things that are useful for you and translate them into u.s. opportunities in san francisco, new opportunities. it's not my task to say you must do it like we do in the netherlands. i'll just show you what we do in the netherlands. and about myself, my name is hillie talens, as you were already told. i work for krowell, which is an n.g.o. and not for profit company, and i work as a bicycle ambassador for the dutch cycling council. on this slide you can see are my hobbies. my greatest passion are
turtles. i've checked them since i was a little girl and i can be very philosophic about it but that is for lunch break. and another hobby of mine is traveling and that comes together with my profession very well because now i'm here and i live in the netherlands. how far can you travel? making pictures, photographer is -- photography is another way of fend spending my free time and in my slides you will see some results of that hobby and combine that with traveling all over the world, you have nice chances for making pictures. and the last one, finally when i get home, my garden is the last passion. i grow my own vegetables and like to make dinner and enjoy that with friends and family. and as you notice, cycling is not part of my hobbies. cycling is not a hobby of mine.
it's just a transportation mold just like the others. you can see here my car. it's a volvo 480. that's the classic. and the bicycle is one of the three i own so i'm pretty average dutch. i have a nice one. this one for holidays, for recreational regions. i got a campy old one that's very noisy i use for commute ing and i have a nice one which i use when i'm in town, go shopping or go see friends or elsewhere. so i have three bicycles and i use them in different ways. for commuting and business travels i always use train, public transport. that's the easiest way to get from a city center to another city center and when i really want to have fun i take my motorbike. that's the nice green vehicle on the bottom of the slide. my presentation. i'll start with some facts and
figures, then the benefits for the society, the dutch dutch. how we do it in the netherlands and then i go deeper into bicycle infrastructure. that's the main reason for this workshop and also the main argument for using bicycle or not using bicycle. i go briefly into enforcement in education and i come up with some conclusions. bike ownership in the netherlands and other european countries. i don't have the u.s. figures here. i have to go to my notes. but you can see the netherlands is top in europe as it comes tobacco ownership. we have more -- to bicycle ownership. we have more bicycles than people. so you can imagine how many bikes there are. you can find them on every street, every street corner. denmark is very good.
second. and then you see it all the way down to spain. oops, now i see a mistake in my slide. uh, where -- if you compare the netherlands with other cities, we have 27% bike share. so this is the use. we own many bikes but we use them a lot as well. we use -- 27% of our trims are made by bicycle, average in the netherlands. denmark, 18%, germany, 10%. and in the u.s., average in your country is 1%. the latest figures i've got. and as i've told you it's the average, 27%. but if you have a closer look and you look at short-distance trips then it's 34% on the bike and 15% of trims up to 10 miles we also use the bicycle.
still a great share. and we have two cities that are top of our bike use. the city of gronig and the city of shola. over 50 october of of all trips daily made by bike. and for regional use of the bicycle. got some figures compared to a car. then you can see that schoolchildren use the bicycle very frequently for education. and still businessmen use the car a lot. and social recreational reasons. a reason for using the bike and shopping. we like to go shopping on our bikes. come to that later. and when it comes to gender. who's using the bicycle. i'm told that the netherlands is very typical on this. we have more women on bikes
then -- than men. and the most intense users are girls from the age of 12 to 18 and that's easy to explain because i once was a girl of that age and to me, mabika was my ticket to freedom. i didn't want my mom and dad bringing me by car somewhere and then say well, i'll pick you up at 6:00. i go on my bike and i'll try to make it at 6:00. most of the time i was there. 6:30. and then later you can see at all ages, women still use the bicycle more than then -- men, in their 30's to 50's. and how far do they go? still, the girls are top of this list and they use the bicycle for seven kilometers per